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From edge +‎ -y. Compare German eckig (angular, edgy).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɛd͡ʒi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛdʒi
  • Hyphenation: edg‧y


edgy (comparative edgier, superlative edgiest)

  1. Nervous, apprehensive.
  2. (entertainment, advertising) Creatively challenging; cutting edge; leading edge.
  3. (entertainment, advertising) On the edge between acceptable and offensive; pushing the boundaries of good taste; risqué.
  4. (dated) Irritable.
    an edgy temper
  5. (art) Having some of the forms, such as drapery or the like, too sharply defined.
    • 1821–1822, William Hazlitt, “(please specify the essay name)”, in Table-Talk; or, Original Essays, volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: John Warren; Henry Colburn and Co.:
      A sculptor's ideas must, I should guess, be somewhat rigid and inflexible, like the materials in which he works. Besides, Nollekens's style was comparatively hard and edgy.
  6. Sharp; having prominent edges.
    • 1954, C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy:
      Shasta tried to get out of the way and to make Bree go back. But [] a woman with a very edgy basket in her hands, who was just behind Shasta, pushed the basket hard against his shoulders, and said, "Now then! Who are you shoving!"
  7. (slang) Cool by virtue of being tough, dark, or badass.
    • 2013, Leonard Bell, Kapka Kassabova, Marti Friedlander, →ISBN:
      His cool, somewhat edgy look is directed back at the photographer, as if she was too close, perhaps had seen too much.
    • 2014, S. K. Collins, Crooked G's, →ISBN, page 265:
      This former aspiring rapper-turned author brings out the heartfelt emotion in his writing from an edgy street-life perspective that leaves the reader begging for more.
    • 2015, Fodor's Travel Guides, Fodor's The Carolinas & Georgia, →ISBN:
      The full bar adds to the edgy attitude of the place, which stays open until midnight on weekends.
    • 2015, Mark Ribowsky, Whiskey Bottles and Brand-New Cars, →ISBN:
      The country part came in with their piquant nativist themes, an edgy, don't-fuck-with-me pose and attitude, a gnawing male chauvinism undercut by sentimentality for women, kin, and the Lord.
    • 2016, C. Desir, Other Broken Things, →ISBN:
      From the author of Bleed Like Me, which Booklist called “edgy, dark, and turbulent with passion” comes another compelling and gritty novel about addiction and forbidden romance—starring a fearless, unforgettable heroine.
  8. (Internet slang) Exhibiting behavior that is disconcerting or alarming, sometimes in an effort to impress or to troll others.
    • 2012, David Brown (18 March 2012), Richard Bacon on the online abuse he’s suffered for two years, Radio Times (retrieved 2017-11-09; archived from the original 2015-03-21):
      “These trolls think they’re being satirical and brave because they’re putting these dangerous, edgy so-called jokes on there, but in reality it’s cowardly. It’s the antithesis of bravery because they rarely identify themselves or give away personal information. That’s not courage.”
    • 2015, Ellen Pao (16 July 2015), Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the Internet, Washington Post (retrieved 2017-11-09; archived from the original 2017-10-20):
      A large portion of the Internet audience enjoys edgy content and the behavior of the more extreme users; it wants to see the bad with the good, so it becomes harder to get rid of the ugly. But to attract more mainstream audiences and bring in the big-budget advertisers, you must hide or remove the ugly.
    • 2017, Matthew Sheffield (27 April 2017), Trolling for a race war: neo-Nazis are trying to bait leftist “antifa” activists into violence—and radicalize white people, Salon (retrieved 2017-11-09; archived from the original 2017-09-04):
      At first, trolling was simply an apolitical form of amusement — web posting as performance art. The image board 4chan soon became its mecca.
      Over time, however, the trolls began moving from joking about racism to advocating it in their desire to become ever more edgy. Andrew Anglin, creator of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer and a longtime troll before that, described the transformation process in a lengthy post on his blog:
      “The sentiments behind the jokes slowly became serious, as people realized they were based on fact," he wrote. "Non-ironic Nazism [began] masquerading as ironic Nazism.”
    • 2017, Jay Hathaway (25 May 2017), Are fidget spinners white supremacist now?, Daily Dot (retrieved 2017-11-09; archived from the original 2017-09-29):
      Dank meme communities love making fun of fidget spinners, especially because spinners are associated with autistic kids, a favorite target for mockery in “edgy” online spaces like 4chan and Reddit. There, spinners are considered emblematic of everything that’s wrong with society, and they’re used as a metaphor for anything unlikeable.

Related terms[edit]